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Steve Sherlock

Joy, well done. It is an issue and Ronni does provide some good information on it regularly.

I love your cartoon lips... :-)

Steve Sherlock

clips, not lips...


My retired schoolteacher father's insurance premium has DOUBLED in the last six months. I wish the insurance companies and HMO's would get taken down like Enron...because surely what they're doing is just as criminal.

Ronni Bennett

I have been without health coverage since January 1 and will continue to be so until April 1, when I become eligible for Medicare. I say a little prayer these days every time I leave the house. I never try to beat the traffic light crossing streets anymore. I am careful in the shower, with knives in the kitchen and have become super aware of the cat's location at any moment because he likes to dash directly in front of me intent, it appears, on seeing if he can trip me.

Ironically (and isn't it always like this), for the first time in many years, I began taking a prescription drug a month ago. It's breathtakingly expensive, but fortunately my doctor loaded me up with three months worth of samples.

That affordable health coverage is attached to employment was a huge mistake when it was undertaken decades ago and now, more and more employers are divesting themselves of this so-called "benefit" (like it's a favor they are doing employees) which, as you are so painfully aware, disappears when jobs are lost.

Age discrimination makes finding new work difficult and those of us who are deemed too old to work, but not yet old enough for Medicare are particularly vulnerable. But no one with the power to change that is paying attention.

Every other industrialized country in the world has universal healthcare and controls the prices pharmaceutical companies can charge for prescription drugs. The U.S. must move to such a system now or millions of people will be left not only without health coverage, but without healthcare at all.

I worry about the children without insurance. It is good healthcare during childhood that, in the 20th century, so extended healthy lifespans. Will that be so for these uninsured children when they read our age?

We already have universal healthcare for people older than 65. It's called Medicare. It's not perfect, but it works and there is no reason not to extend the program to everyone.

I suggest that we all make this priority known to Congressional candidates in our individual states during this election year and refuse to vote for anyone who does not agree to establish universal healthcare in the next two years.

And thanks for the kind words, Joy. I appreciate them.


Ronni does a great job, but, and there always is one, she can't do it alone. Letters, e-mails, and even phone calls to elected officials is what's needed.... Lots of them....


I have been without ANY health insurance for more than 2 years as our ins. co. we had had for over 30 years went bankrupt! I was offered coverage at double the price...couldn't do it!!!

Never thought I'd be looking forward so eagerly to my 65th. birthday but I am! Medicare!!! Will be 65 in May, so I will have that coverage soon!



Hey, that Motorcycle Mama (or grand ma!!) looks a lot like me- except I don't actually DRIVE our motorcycle, but ride behind Charles! :)
My kids would surely have a fit if I tried that!!



I too was in your shoes, Joy, when I quit my paycheck job and started consulting. After my COBRA ran out, I took a conversion policy - in the last 3 years, it has gone from $289 to $418 per month with a $1,000 deductible. When I turn 60 in June, it will go up again to $487. It is immoral - yet, I feel fortunate that I can pay the exorbinant monthly cost!

Young families and others who cannot afford such high premiums are at such risk.

Thank you for writing this - we all do need to raise our voices.

ps Your cartoons gave me a much needed lift and laugh this morning.


Health care with two little guys is scary. I work at one of the "good" companies in my location. Last year one of them was hospitalized with pneumonia, in January. Our out of pocket costs were over $2500 before insurance kicked in. We still paid another $1000 with a 90-10 on top of a premium that is several hundred dollars a month.

I think twice about taking my kids to the doctor. And I hate that.


I started to comment to your post today but I was so upset after reading your letter and the comments that I must take a moment to reflect. I'm just beside myself. Although I'm not directly affected by the stupidity and injustice of age job discrimination and the universal health care debacle, the situation makes me literally gasp with indignation. When (and if) I catch my breath I'll get back to you. And to anyone else who will listen.


Age discrimination seems to be rampant and something younger folks seems eager to not address. After all, none of us, when we were younger, thought it could happen to us. Well, it has. I was just beginning to feel the twinges of discrimination, when I retired.

I am one of the fortunate ones to qualify for Tri-Care for Life, the government insurance for Retired Military and their dependents. As good as this is, there are already attempts to chip away at it and there is a need to remain vigilant and politically involved.

My heart goes out to you and I can only begin to realize how frightening your situation must be. Ronni is right. We need to make universal health care a number one priority and elect government officials who will work toward this goal.

If we are able to reach this goal, I hope our country will have learned lessons from Medicare Prescription Plans and not screw it up into the same kind of nightmare.


The situation is, indeed, appalling. It has to be sorted out and sorted out soon, but no one seems to have a good answer. I do know one thing - health insurance can no longer be tied to employment. Too many people are falling through the cracks, not to mention those folks who have insurance/pensions cut out from under them after retirement. Statistics show that - all things considered - I'll live another 30-40 years. Wonder if things will be settled by then?

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